Keto and Low Sugar

At its most basic, keto is all about removing glucose as a source of fuel. Glucose is simply a type of sugar, and this means that regular sugar is one of the first things to go. While we hate to see it leave, there are many alternatives available to take its place!

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Real sugar is a two-fold molecule of glucose (50%) and fructose (50%). Scientifically speaking, sugar is a split molecule containing one part glucose and one part fructose. Therefore, sugar is all carbohydrates and has the same negative influence on diabetic condition and weight gain. A ketogenic lifestyle avoids sugars in any format. It will quickly derail your progress toward maintaining ketosis!

Low Sugar And The Keto Diet

A low carb low sugar diet can help some individuals with type 2 diabetes as it causes your organs to maintain low but safe levels of glucose. The lower dietary intake of carbs can help remove significant blood sugar spikes that increase insulin requirements. More and more research has gone into the effects of sugar on long-term health and the results are discouraging! It tastes sweet but has a chain reaction of health problems.

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Keto-Friendly Sugar Alternatives

Many sweeteners are keto-friendly, and they do such a good job that you might not miss sugar at all. Some of the most common sugar alternatives you’ll on the market are known as “nonnutritive sweeteners.” Better known as artificial sweeteners, they contain little to no calories or carbs. Stevia, sucralose (e.g. Splenda), and aspartame are all keto-friendly. However, many nonnutritive sweeteners have a bitter taste that turns many consumers away.

Another class of alternatives is sugar alcohol. These naturally-occurring compounds mimic the taste of sugar on your tongue. They do contain a few carbs, but sugar alcohols like erythritol or xylitol don’t count as net carbs because they don’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels. They’re also very versatile as sugar replacements. Xylitol is as sweet as regular sugar, so it can replace sugar in a 1:1 ratio, but some people have reported digestive issues. Erythritol, which is 80% as sweet as regular sugar, has a smaller molecular weight, so it doesn’t have the same digestive problems.

Remember that even though Xylitol works on an equal substitution ratio, not every alternative sweetener does. There is a wide variety of substitutes and all have advantages and disadvantages. It’s best to go out and experiment, contact us to learn more or look at keto community forums.

Splenda can be swapped in without changing the proportions, while others like erythritol aren’t as sweet and require higher proportions. Stevia in both liquid and crystal form is much, much sweeter, and only a teaspoon is needed for every cup of sugar. 

What could be worse than sugar? Fructose! This is because it goes directly to the liver and can promote liver disease, insulin complications, obesity considerations particularly when ingested in increased quantities. Fructose is the main enemy of someone on a low carb keto diet especially when you’re just getting started!

How Rigorous Do I Have To Be With Sugar?

You have to be very strict about sugar consumption, but one of the problems of our era is that sugar is in almost everything: not just in soft drinks and sweet treats, but in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and “healthy” smoothies. Sugar, often derived from corn, is a cheap additive, and we’ve become conditioned to sugar being in every meal. Keto dieters need to read the packaging of everything they throw into their grocery basket, and the diet should consist of mostly whole foods. 

Strict avoidance of sugar even extends to many types of fruit. While full of nutrients and antioxidants, eating fruit that is high in natural sugar that can throw you off ketosis. The list includes: 

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruit like oranges & tangerines
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pears

If you can’t give up fruit, the best options are low glycemic fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Olives and avocados are also excellent sources of healthy fat (and they both are technically fruits!).

Other fruit-related foods to avoid are juice, jams, and dried fruit of all kinds. These are chock full of sugar and are easy to overconsume. Skip store-bought smoothies too and make them at home with keto-friendly ingredients of your choosing!

Strict avoidance of sugar even extends to many types of fruit. While full of nutrients and antioxidants, eating fruit that is high in natural sugar that can throw you off ketosis. The list includes: 

Frequently Asked Questions About Low Sugar Keto Diet

Following low carb diet means restricting the absorption of carb and lowering your supply of added sugar to achieve ketosis. Nearly all sugar is considered the “poison” of keto dieting.

The keto diet can reduce glucose scores in people with type 2 diabetes. The regulation of carb intake is often advised for diabetics since carbohydrates turn to sugar and can cause blood sugar spikes in large quantities.

Eat enough protein so that you can enter into a stable level of glycogen. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar in your food. Transition into eating healthy carbs only. Eat the right fat to sustain yourself and restrict your caloric intake to fewer meals.   

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